How to Grow Organizational Capabilities by Creating a Learning Culture

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Tom_Sheehan_news.jpgA significant driver of employee engagement is grounded in the notion that employees want to learn continuously. Employees also expect that their managers to help them unlock their potential. Also, turnover data suggests that younger employees are increasingly more likely to depart to organizations that offer more growth and development  opportunities.

 

As an HR leader, your goal is to help your employer attract and retain the best talent. Creating a learning culture is a great way to accomplish that objective. A learning culture is a set of organizational values, processes, and practices that encourage individuals—and the organization as a whole—to increase knowledge, competence, and performance.

 

According to study by Bersin & Associates, titled ‘High-Impact Learning Culture’, organizations that have a strong learning foundation tend to significantly outperform their peers in several areas:

 

• They have 37 percent greater employee productivity.

• They have a 34 percent better response to customer needs.

• They have a 26 percent greater ability to deliver quality products.

• They are 58 percent more likely to have skills to meet future demand.

 

Getting Started

 

There are seven steps to start building a high-impact learning culture: (source Bersin & Associates)

 

Make learning part of the organization’s strategic success

Integrate learning with talent management in support of capability development.

 

Make a ‘belief in learning’ a part of the organization’s culture of leadership

Use leadership development programs to encourage leaders and management to take ownership of the learning culture.

 

Make full use of captive audiences

Use required training activities to prove the value of learning by making it worthwhile and interesting for learners.

 

Make a great first impression

Use onboarding programs to encourage employees to take personal responsibility for learning and to demonstrate the organization’s commitment to development. Some organizations have onboarding programs that start as early as the talent acquisition phase and continue through that script out the first 3-6  months of a new hire’s employment.  Such an approach can demonstrate an organization’s commitment to learning, helps recruits hit the ground running, and personally benefits the individuals.

 

Make knowledge sharing an organizational habit

Institutionalize knowledge sharing by incorporating incentives and opportunities into every learning and performance management process.

 

Make performance management a driver of development

Redesign performance management processes to give at least equal weight to coaching and development. You will know coaching is working if  the annual performance review is taking just 15-20 minutes to complete simply because you are just confirming the things discussed throughout the year.

 

Make work educational

Use embedded learning approaches to maximize experiential and reflective learning. Embedded learning allows people to reflect on how they learn by putting them to work on real business problems. An example of such an approach could be leadership role on a cross-functional project team.

 

If you would like to discuss how to better leverage and enable your business's organizational capabilities please give me a call today at (919) 325-4113.                                                                                                                                                                                                                

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